Was this a Soft Coup? by Publius Tacitus


Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is either a hero or mentally deranged. The Democrats are opting for the crazy diagnosis. I believe he is a hero. Mr. Nunes received information earlier this week from a whistleblower, but not you typical whistleblower. The "normal" whistleblower takes information, usually classified, to a member of the press in order to bring attention to wrong doing or lies by the government. He or she goes outside of channels. In this regard the Nunes' whistleblower is different. This person passed classified material to a person cleared for the classified material, i.e. Nunes. 

Nunes was shown information that had been withheld from the House and Senate oversight committees. His reaction upon receiving the material is telling. He clearly was shocked by the proof that intelligence reports containing the names of Trump campaign officials had been produced and disseminated to in violation of normal protocols. You simply do not put the name of a U.S. citizen in an intelligence report. It is supposed to be "minimized." In other words, masked. Our principal foreign intelligence agencies–NSA, CIA, DIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency–are supposed to collect on foreigners.

What Nunes is reporting is that some of the information that these agencies collected included the names of private American citizens and, instead of masking the names, those names were printed. Then came the leaks. While the collection of the names is described as "incidental," this was far from benign. It was deliberate–get intelligence into the public domain that would discredit Trump and put pressure on him to resign. It did not matter whether the info was true. The objective was to damage the Trump brand and create enough questions about alleged ties to Russia that he would feel pressure to resign.

I am certain of one thing–there will be more information coming out today that will buttress the claims Nunes made earlier this week. This could be the start of the worm turning and former member of the Obama intelligence community and White House staff could find themselves facing legal peril. That would shift the narrative.

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89 Responses to Was this a Soft Coup? by Publius Tacitus

  1. Old Microbiologist says:

    I recall at least one of the leaks only Comey, Trump, Rogers, and Bannon were in the room. That narrows the suspect list to something manageable. Should Comey himself be the source of the leak I think he may be in some serious trouble and may have been cleverly set up. Trump didn’t get to be a billionaire by being a fool.

  2. b says:

    “That would shift the narrative.”
    I’d hope so, even as I dislike Trump and his policies.
    It is obvious since December that the Obama-Clinton cabal is pushing for a coup against Trump. So far they have not been successful despite all the “Russia hacking” and “collusion” nonsense. They are running out of steam.
    “Next six month” Friedman in the NYT calls for the military to putsch. The WaPo neocons call for Nunes to be investigated for breaching secrets while they want investigations into secrecy breaches against Trump to stop. These people know that the soft-coup scheme, and the people behind it, are in trouble. Good.
    Could someone also investigate Flynn for the 560,000 he got from an Erdogan comprade instead of questioning the few 10,000 he got from Russia related interests? There surely is an interesting story behind it.

  3. Bill H says:

    What CBS News said Wednesday night (http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/why-might-trumps-associates-have-been-surveilled/) is that what the intelligence agencies were doing was spying on Russians, which they are legally entitled to do, so anyone talking to the Russians can also be recorded and their conversations used as evidence against them. It’s called “incidental collection,” we were told by Michael Morell, and it “happens every day.” Sort of invokes the phrase “collateral damage.” Anyway, it was perfectly ordinary and permissible that the Trump associates were recorded and reported on.

  4. Valissa says:

    The fact that people keep underestimating Trump only benefits Trump.
    Nunes Calls Comey, Rogers For “Closed Session” After Finding “Concerning Info” In Intel Reports http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-24/nunes-calls-comey-rogers-closed-session-after-finding-concerning-info-intel-reports
    Oh to be a fly on that wall!
    A related story from last month…
    Nunes asks FBI to investigate Trump leaks – The House intelligence chairman has said the president is being targeted by the intelligence community. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-leaks-devin-nunes-classified-intelligence-235167

  5. I think you are on to something. A knowledgeable friend put it in even more stark terms–Comey is a liar. I’ve always liked Comey, but if he is not playing this straight then shame on him.

  6. You are wrong. When AMCIT names show up their identities are supposed to be masked. Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? I wrote that tidbit in the body of the piece. What was not, to use your phraseology, “ordinary and permissible” was to spread that intel around with the names of the Trump people clearly identified. Doing guilt by association is not intelligence. I presume you are a Trump hater. This really is not about Trump. It is about learning that our Foreign Intelligence entities are meddling in domestic politics. If Democrat partisans can do it to Republicans then Republicans can do it to Democrats. You seem to be saying that as long as it is your guys you are fine with it. I’m not. I don’t take sides on this. Wrong is wrong.

  7. Lars says:

    This is one major reason why an independent investigation is needed. Foremost to find the facts and hopefully debunk all the conspiracy theories. Congress is not up to doing this in a fair or impartial fashion.
    If this is not investigated thoroughly, a very dark and growing cloud will hang over the Trump presidency and that could destroy it. His approval ratings are very low and any further deterioration will deplete any political capital he may still have. There is a difference between a de jure administration and a de facto one.

  8. Eric Newhill says:

    I am beginning to suspect that Comey is, indeed, a liar. The first tip was that the media went so far out its way to portray him as the consummate “straight shooter”.
    The list of suspects must be very small. There are only a handful that could order the unmasking of the names. I imagine that Trump had already investigated and had uncovered the perp well before his tweet.
    The list of people with the technical skill and systems access to actually do the unmasking would be larger than the list of those who would order it done. This is the problem with maintaining a conspiracy. To many underlings need to be involved who then have no incentive to keep quiet once the stuff hits the fan. I think that an underling who was brought in to do the data work is now 1. CYAing 2. Coming forward out of love of country and sense of duty 3. Coming forward out of liking of Trump 4. All of the above/some combination of the above
    Or Nunes has got nothing and he’s trying to smoke screen to save Trump’s bacon – I think not though.

  9. Jack says:

    Does anyone have a plausible speculation on what happened?
    All I recall is that Trump is a Russian agent meme began with Hillary campaign manager Robby Mook accusing the Russians colluding with the Trump campaign to hack and pass on Podesta’s emails to Wikileaks. Then there were all the leaks to the NY Times and WaPo, which was then amplified by the TV news channels of Trump’s financial connections to the Russians and Trump campaign officials on the Russian payroll and then of course the leaks of Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador.
    Something smells real fishy here. And since in general I don’t trust our IC as they have burned any credibility with their leadership’s blatant lying under oath and their numerous false and poor analysis and conclusions, I’d like to read an alternative perspective. I am not that naive to know that the Russians have the cyber capabilities and the intent to cause us embarrassment and harm just as we do. The Spy vs Spy capers between our two countries have been going a long time. I am also certain that the Chinese, Israelis, and even our European and British allies are running all kinds of infiltration campaigns. It is quite possible that the Russians obtained the emails and passed it on to Wikileaks. It is also possible that elements in our IC are attempting a putsch against a legitimate POTUS in collusion with elements within the MSM.
    Here’s Pat Buchanan with an explanation:
    And there is Gen. McInerney (don’t know anything about this officer):

  10. rexl says:

    If such a good job is done listening and catching foreign originating phone calls then how about the kid in Israel calling Jewish Community Centers in the US?

  11. b says:

    Excellent piece. Thanks. Recommended.

  12. Tyler says:

    I think the Left is fatally misreading the mood in this country. I don’t believe polls that show him with 40% approval ratings and that the US populace is somehow 70%+ in favor of amnesty, either. Those who do forget the last year of polls showing HRC with a 360EV blowout and “turning Texas blue”.
    Trump has good coup insurance from the military with Mattis and McMaster, as well as Kelly.
    However that’s the bright and shiny everyone is distracted by. Here’s the other half of the equation I don’t think anyone has picked up yet. President Trump has on his side the largest uniformed, armed, agent corps in the US: the Border Patrol. 19K strong, with an air branch, a medical branch, and logistics branch. Probably the closest thing outside of the CIA’s SAD that could be called an actual paramilitary function. And we have been fighting a low scale CI war here on the SWB.
    One of the first things Trump does is kick out the outsider FBI Chief and put a patrol agent back in charge of the Patrol. He gets really cozy with the Union. ××One of the first things he does!××
    If Comey (who comes across as weak and diffident) decides to try and order the arrest of Trump, I would get really nervous as a rank and file FBI agent. They ride a desk after academy and are about what, 5k strong? The Patrol is out busting the brush and hiking dope out of mountains. Most assaulted law enforcement agency in the US.
    It’ll get interesting.

  13. Kooshy says:

    Don’t you think is wrong unconstitutional and dangerous if any side or anybody do it? IMO If intelligence agencies or any body else is attempting an illegal regime change, there need to be prosecutions regardless which side or who they support.

  14. turcopolier says:

    He is a US person. The Israelis probably caught him themselves. pl

  15. Publius Tacitus,
    Thanks for that.
    With regard to Comey, I have to say that in the wake of events since the millennium, I tend to take for granted that one is foolish to take for granted that the leaders of the American or British ‘intelligence communities’ are either honest or indeed competent.
    Lower down there may be figures who are both, although I suspect more so on your side of the Atlantic than ours. But it seems there is a kind of ‘glass ceiling’, so those who do make it to the top are corrupt and/or incompetent.
    What Comey had to say at the Congressional hearings into Russian interference in the Presidential election provoked a fit of near apoplexy from the Ottawa University scholar Paul Robinson. In the course of a career which has led to him accumulating a wide knowledge of Russian military and intellectual history, he served as a British Army Intelligence officer.
    (See https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/2713/ )
    What Comey told the hearings was that:
    ‘He [Putin] hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much. They engaged in a multifaceted campaign to undermine our democracy.
    ‘They were unusually loud in their intervention. It’s almost as if they didn’t care that we knew, that they wanted us to see what they were doing. Their number one mission is to undermine the credibility of our entire democracy enterprise of this nation.
    ‘They’ll be back. They’ll be back, in 2020. They may be back in 2018.’
    Having discussed the kind of enquiry which would be necessary to try to assess how people in the Kremlin are actually thinking – and also how difficult this is – Professor Robinson goes on to remark of Comey:
    ‘He doesn’t know what Gazprom is!!! But yet, he “knows” Moscow’s innermost secret plans! These guys are clowns. They are beyond ignorant, because they are ignorant even of their own ignorance… Nobody should take these hearings in the slightest bit seriously.’
    Another problem with Comey’s remarks, which Robinson does not discuss, bears on the question of how seriously we should take the denials by GCHQ and others on this side of the claims made that were brought in to make it possible to access transcripts of conversations recorded by the NSA without leaving a ‘paper trail’.
    There is what seems to me a fair summary of the problems with the case that a group identified as ‘Fancy Bear’ hacked the DNC on behalf of the GRU in a piece entitled ‘Rush to Judgement’ just posted by Justin Raimondo on the Antiwar.com site.
    (See http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/03/23/rush-to-judgment/ .)
    As regards Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘Crowdstrike’, who initially produced the version of the DNC hacks that Comey seems to be echoing, it is material that he is a ‘Nonresident Senior Fellow, Cyber Statecraft Initiative’, at the ‘Atlantic Council.’
    The Council is an organisation which appears to be heavily into ‘StratCom.’
    Apparently, ‘Crowdstrike’ also has an $150,000 a year no-bid contract with the FBI for ‘systems analysis’. And it seems that organisation did not even request access to the DNC servers, but instead relied upon ‘Crowdstrike’.
    What Comey has done in the remarks I have quoted, however, is to take over the Orwellian ‘doublethink’ of the claims about ‘Fancy Bear’, and amplify it.
    If Putin and General Gerasimov, who as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces has overall responsibility for the GRU, wanted to undermine Hillary Clinton and American democracy, they would not have ‘wanted us to see what they were doing’ – and certainly would not have left the initials of Dzerzhinsky in broad daylight.
    Their obvious course would have been to make the hack unattributable, so as to sustain the story that the materials were leaked by Seth Rich, and he was ‘Arkancided’ as a result. That would have fitted neatly into a ‘narrative’ where the Clintons are murderers, and American (and British) ‘democracy’ is a complete fraud, where high-falutin’ ideological professions mask a corrupt oligarchy run by murderous thugs.
    As to the claims made about the role of GCHQ, the only thing one can safely deduce from them, it appears, is that they are complicit in the same ‘StratCom’ activities as ‘Crowdstrike’ and the FBI.
    After the declassified intelligence report endorsed this McCarthyite nonsense back in January, including the claim of GRU responsibility for the DNC hacks, the account in the ‘New York Times’ produced claims so extraordinary that they merit extended quotation:
    ‘‘Intelligence officials who prepared the classified report on Russian hacking activity have concluded that British intelligence was among the first to raise an alarm that Moscow had hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, and alerted their American counterparts, according to two people familiar with the conclusions.
    ‘Mr. Trump was briefed by senior intelligence officials for nearly two hours on Friday, describing the briefing in a statement as “a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the intelligence community.”
    ‘It is unclear whether they highlighted the British role, which has been closely held, in the briefing. But it is a critical part of the timeline, because it suggests that some of the first tipoffs, in fall 2015, came from voice intercepts, computer traffic or human sources outside the United States, as emails and other data from the D.N.C. flowed out of the country.
    ‘“The British picked it up, and we may have had it at about the same time,” said one cyberexpert who has been briefed on the findings. British intelligence – especially the signals intelligence unit, GCHQ – has a major role in tracking Russian activity.’
    (See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/us/politics/russia-hack-report.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=1 .)
    These claims, having been recycled uncritically by the ‘NYT’, were then recycled, equally uncritically, by the ‘Guardian’.
    (See https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/07/russia-us-election-hacking-uk-intelligence .)
    Another problem with the notion that Putin is obsessively determined to destroy ‘democracy’ in the United States and Europe is that the élites in both places seem so hell-bent on destroying the credibility of their own system that it is not clear why the Russian security services should bother.
    And indeed, it seems to me that somewhere down in Hell Stalin may be lamenting. Something along the following lines, perhaps:
    ‘What a wonderful people, the British. Their journalists simply re-type what the “organs” tell them, and the people believe them. If I had been given British to rule, I would not have needed a Gulag.
    ‘Of course, if a journalist in the “New York Times” or “Guardian” had ever questioned what the “organs” told him, or her, I would have had to do something about it. But you don’t need to have these people shot, as they always do what they are told. I wouldn’t even have needed a small concentration camp on the Isle of Man.’

  16. LondonBob says:

    Isn’t Comey effectively investigating himself?
    How did this all start, was it the highly questionable Steele dossier, or dodgy intel from the Baltic states that started the investigation?
    How come the investigation is still ongoing nine months later, with nothing found so far?
    The irony is Trump’s campaign was largely self funded and he raised a record amount from small donors to fund his on the cheap Presidential run. Trump seems to be the first candidate not to be noticeably under the influence of any lobbies and Russia’s role in US elections is seemingly less than a number of other countries. Whatever happened to the Clinton Foundation and the pay for play? The idea Trump won the election with anything other than everything arrayed against him is just bizarre.

  17. BillWade says:

    In a previous post I linked to a Huffington Post article which detailed the financial/moral support given to President Trump from the ultra-rich NYC Mercer family. It’s a long article and my takeaway is that the Mercer’s are an ok with me family.
    I think it was about 5 days before the election when Comey came out and said that HRC was still under investigation. The Clinton campaign appeared to be furious at Comey “he cost them the election”. My guess is that was all a ruse to make Comey appear to be an “honest broker”. But, laughing here, I’d bet that if HRC had won, she’d of kept Comey on and, if she lost the thinking would be: Comey would still be there to run interference for her and anyone else who might need it, hopefully we’ll know soon.

  18. turcopolier says:

    IMO we should all be wary of Huff Post under its new ultra left managing editor. pl

  19. Valissa says:

    Great article about Putin’s role as an actor on the world stage and what he represents.
    Some of my favorite bits…
    Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy. He is the elected leader of Russia—a rugged, relatively poor, militarily powerful country that in recent years has been frequently humiliated, robbed, and misled. His job has been to protect his country’s prerogatives and its sovereignty in an international system that seeks to erode sovereignty in general and views Russia’s sovereignty in particular as a threat.
    … Yet if we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the pre-eminent statesman of our time. On the world stage, who can vie with him? Only perhaps Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey. When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that. In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Atatürk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he rescued a nation-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength.
    … Today’s biggest threat to the U.S. isn’t Vladimir Putin. So why are people thinking about Putin as much as they do? Because he has become a symbol of national self-determination. Populist conservatives see him the way progressives once saw Fidel Castro, as the one person who says he won’t submit to the world that surrounds him. You didn’t have to be a Communist to appreciate the way Castro, whatever his excesses, was carving out a space of autonomy for his country.
    In the same way, Putin’s conduct is bound to win sympathy even from some of Russia’s enemies, the ones who feel the international system is not delivering for them. Generally, if you like that system, you will consider Vladimir Putin a menace. If you don’t like it, you will have some sympathy for him. Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism. That turns out to be the big battle of our times. As our last election shows, that’s true even here.

  20. Bill H says:

    I should have been more specific. I do not subscribe to this theory, in fact disagree with it, but am merely passing along what CBS News reported.

  21. Fred says:

    How many people received full or partial immunity from the Hilary classified information scandal? Is there anything they might know?
    What about the 3 House IT staffers who were recenlty fired? What did they vacuum up and send where? Or, since it hasn’t been rulled out. Just what made up evidence did they plant using their access and IT skills? Of course we also need to ask who did a background check on them.

  22. Jack says:

    This is what confuses me. If the Russians have such awesome cyber capabilities as our IC claim, why would they leave behind attribution? To brag about the hacking? That would seem uncharacteristic.
    I am not holding my breath that we’ll find out the truth. It’s all about information operations and guilt by innuendo. If our recent election is anything to go by then the marginal effectiveness of these information operations is declining as more people become skeptical of the stories in our MSM, with “officials who spoke under anonymity, said…” Of course that will not prevent our MSM and political and governmental elites from whipping up hysteria to further their groupthink agenda.

  23. Nancy K says:

    So you think that border patrol would go rogue?

  24. Cee says:

    Nunes has caved. I am desperate for the same bravery to prevail.
    However, yeah, Fox news…

  25. raven says:

    Yea, NOW Comey is a liar.

  26. JohnH says:

    Bears repeating: “how seriously we should take the denials by GCHQ?”
    Their reaction struck me as that of a three year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

  27. LondonBob says:

    Mercer seems like your average American except for the fact he has made a shedload of money running a quant fund so has some money to support his political interests. I don’t see anything sinister in that, I don’t see it as strings attached donations. Hard to think to think of any special interest a quant hedge fund manager would have except for carried interest tax advantages.
    I know Adelson eventually gave Trump some money, seemed more a case of the Israelis hedging in case Clinton did lose. I have seen it suggested that the reason Trump keeps suggesting Bolton is at his behest, who knows. Still no Bolton though.
    I have read that the whole reopening might have been driven by Guiliani’s pals in the NYPD and disgusted FBI agents. Comey looks like snake and I wouldn’t trust him, perhaps he and the FBI could get around to examining the DNC hack rather than taking Crowdstrike’s word for it.

  28. Jack says:

    One thing that can’t be denied is the veracity of Wikileaks disclosures as it has never been contested. Podesta’s emails showed the duplicity of the Clintons and their entourage. Not that it is different than most other politicians. The emails just highlighted their hypocrisy in black & white.
    Was there a serious investigation of Hilary’s private email server and the exposure of classified information? Others lower in the totem pole have been prosecuted for far less disclosure. Comey’s investigation was a side show for many, relative to the actual content of the emails.
    One of the questions at hand is are elements of the IC attempting to discredit a duly elected POTUS? Since, I am a believer in drastically shrinking the size and scope of the federal government and in particular the surveillance state I welcome any scrutiny of the IC.

  29. PT,
    “Nunes was shown information that had been withheld from the House and Senate oversight committees.” You do not know what Nunes was shown as Nunes never produced any documentation nor did he name his source. This is pure speculation.
    “You simply do not put the name of a U.S. citizen in an intelligence report.” This is incorrect. There is no blanket requirement that the names of US Persons cannot be included in an intelligence report.
    Section 702 of the FISA act states that personnel are required to “destroy inadvertently acquired communications of or concerning a United States person at the earliest practical point in the processing cycle at which such communication can be identified” if it “does not contain foreign intelligence information” or “evidence of a crime.”
    Note the two exceptions at the end if that paragraph.
    “What Nunes is reporting is that some of the information that these agencies collected included the names of private American citizens and, instead of masking the names, those names were printed.”
    Again, if the material collected contained foreign intelligence information or evidence of a crime then there is no problem with the names remaining unmasked.
    “Then came the leaks. While the collection of the names is described as “incidental,” this was far from benign. It was deliberate–get intelligence into the public domain that would discredit Trump and put pressure on him to resign.”
    Here again you state as a fact something that is mere speculation. You cannot know what the intent of the leak was. Absent any further information it is just as reasonable to assume that the purpose of the leak was to continue to raise valid concerns about foreign intelligence activity or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
    The only reason that I can see that Trump would resign from the Presidency would be if this administration or campaign were in fact culpable of aiding in foreign intelligence or criminal activity.
    I must also point out that President Trump can order the declassification and dissemination of all these materials if he felt that doing so would clear his campaign and administration of any wrongdoing.

  30. Tyler,
    Would you respect the removal of a President by Constitutional means, or would you consider that to be an invalid act?

  31. Valissa says:

    He has dual citizenship but he lives in Israel. Apparently the IDF declared him “unfit for duty” possible due to the mental issues alluded to in the article below. In the 2nd article, the subheadline refers to him as an Israeli teen.
    Suspect in bomb threats may have been paid to harass JCCs http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/227206
    While the suspect is not cooperating with investigators – and has reportedly not spoken a word since his arrest – some digital evidence has been found that shed light on the case. The special Lahav 433 investigation unit discovered a Bitcoin account operated by the suspect. A series of large deposits from overseas sources suggests the suspect may have been working on behalf of foreign interests.
    Galit Bash, the suspect’s attorney, suggested his mental state may be compromised. There is concern that his medical condition affects his cognitive functioning.” “Therefore, we asked the court to order that the young man be referred for a medical examination. The court accepted our claims and instructed the police to examine the young man’s medical condition.” The court also approved a request to ban publication of the suspect’s name, and ordered he be placed under continuous 24-hour suicide watch.
    Just over a year ago, the IDF declined to draft the suspect, ruling him unfit for duty.
    Suspect in JCC bomb threats also harassed Israeli institutions –
    Israeli teen arrested over JCC bomb threats wanted for years by Israeli police, allegedly assaulted female officer during arrest.

  32. Tyler says:

    You think opposing an illegal deep state coup is “going rogue”. Thx again for showing your true colors.

  33. johnf says:

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist
    (thank God!) the British journalist.
    But, seeing what the man will do
    unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

  34. turcopolier says:

    :He has dual citizenship but he lives in Israel” That does not matter. He is still a US person. Is this by any chance the kid from suburban Maryland who fled to Israel a while back to escape involvement in a homicide case? pl

  35. Nancy K says:

    I’m not implying anything, I was asking you a question.

  36. Eric Newhill says:

    Nancy has already told me recently that we just enjoy killing and war and that our blood lust is our true motivation.

  37. Dr.Puck says:

    It seems the Borg are going about accomplishing the perfect crime, one that by definition can be unwound, unraveled, prosecuted, and punished.
    The apparent scope of the massive and coordinated conspiracy between, (just to string these together,) globalist elites, MSM, IC, elements of the deep state, and, some elements of the progressive utopian revolutionaries, Zionists, and SJW enablers, might suggest a weak link or two–in that this also suggests a hidden massive operation.
    But, how it reads, is that there is no hope. You believe the sources you believe in. Confirmation bias right? Otherwise, the mastermind Obama, his elite globalist handlers, can turn back all countermoves. For example, if one suggests that an independent investigation would be free from the two sides, the response with a conspiratorial frame of mind is, roughly, “there is zero chance of independence because the Borg know and control all possibly independent resources. The IC is chock full of buried moles.

  38. LeaNder says:

    Not bad, not bad at all, I agree. Powerfully written. Angry.
    I am not too fond how he folds Martin Luther King into his Zeitgeist narrative, admittedly. Not allowed to speak his mind? But may be a bit too sensitive here. But that’s about it.
    Thou shalt have no other perspective but mine?
    Lets all face the fact that Putin is the ultimate evil out there. Also only a “minor regional player”, as Obama once condescendingly said.
    It’s all so irrational, and so hard to believe.

  39. Jack says:

    “His approval ratings are very low and any further deterioration will deplete any political capital he may still have”
    Yes, indeed! Just like this story linked below couple weeks before the election.
    Nice concern trolling.

  40. LeaNder says:

    CI war here on the SWB
    CI? SWB=South West Border?

  41. LeaNder says:

    Yes, I just wanted to put David’s way. They are no journalists, they are stenographers.
    regards Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘Crowdstrike’
    I have a certain amount of sympathy with the guy, a bit at least. He After all his hard forensic work needs a result.
    He did his best, but he didn’t convince me. Or he add something new?

  42. VietnamVet says:

    Yes, something is going on. I am drawn to the idea that America is undergoing the same dismemberment at the hands of the Harvard Boys as Russia suffered in the 1990’s. At the heart of the Globalists’ media fury is their fear of an an American Vladimir Putin rising out of the carnage. Today, for the first time, I was panhandled by a homeless white husband and wife holding hands in the Safeway parking lot. Thin and bedraggled as if they suffered through a Great Depression or Civil War; they are the victims of the austerity and chaos that the Elites are imposing on all working Americans.
    There is a soft coup underway to undermine the Trump Presidency and elevate Mike Pence in order to continue dismantling the sovereign democracies, thwart détente, and continue the looting.

  43. Jack,
    I’ve wondered this myself. I assumed that this would have been such a high stakes operation that Russians would have used much stealthier methods to hack these targets. However, in most of the Russian cyber-attack and influence operations I’ve witnessed, there was little effort to hide their ultimate involvement. The Russian hackers often left signatures so there was no mistaking who did it. The opposite is true in pure cyber-intelligence collection operations. It may be just as Comey described in his testimony.
    I’m with you in not holding my breath waiting to find out the truth. I no longer have a security clearance and no longer care to have one, so I’ll never see the classified evidence. The Trump team is also doing everything in its power to squelch a vigorous investigation. They prefer to a battle of influence operations with those who really are pushing for a “soft coup.” Most of us have no interest in worshipping a god emperor as president or pushing any kind of coup, soft or otherwise. We really do want to know the truth and move on from there.

  44. Publius Tacitus,
    I can think of only one situation in which US Person information is included in a report produced by the IC. On several occasions I included detailed information on individuals I was fairly confident were US Persons. This was for several crimes reports I sent to the FBI and our GC. These reports were not the standard field intelligence information reports, but an outsider could have difficulty telling the difference. If there’s anything to all this Trump-Russia stuff, I could see some of these crimes reports being produced by the IC.

  45. Nancy K says:

    That is so untrue. I have never used the words blood lust in my life. If Tyler is part of the “we” you are referring to I have never said that about him. I think you are reporting fake news.

  46. Jack says:

    “..in most of the Russian cyber-attack and influence operations I’ve witnessed, there was little effort to hide their ultimate involvement.”
    You’ve been in the middle of these type of intelligence operations. Why do you think they’re advertising their role? What’s the benefit?

  47. Hunsdon says:

    Huzzah! “Wrong is wrong.” Too many in Washington are on Team Us vs. Team Them and anything that helps us is good, anything that hurts them is good, and of course, the inverse.

  48. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Bob, when F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The rich are different from you and I,” Ernest Hemingway is purported to have replied, “Yes. They have more money.” You appear to be siding with Hemingway.

  49. Tyler says:

    Sounds like you, gotta agree with Eric.

  50. Tyler says:

    My spider sense tells me you want to massage Constitutional means into “we have to remove the President because of the Russians” or some such.

  51. Tyler says:

    Counterinsurgency war on the Southwest Border.

  52. Tyler says:

    You are indeed, implying it. And reacting like a scalded cat when called on it.

  53. Mark Logan says:

    I wouldn’t call it a coup. They will wind up with President Pence, and he would likely prove a more competent enemy than Trump.
    Their probable cause stems from lying about Russian contacts by several members of the Trump team. Seems likely to me those lies were unnecessary ones, there should be no reason for Sessions to try to hide meeting the Russian ambassador, for instance.
    More likely than not the lies stem from a culture in which lying has been either tacitly or openly encouraged. Bet the farm your people will start lying as well and even when there is no need to do so.
    Nevertheless the damage is done. They must now suffer the gauntlet of scrutiny. Changing narratives? Red herrings? Perhaps a bit of suffering will re-enforce a lesson they would be well advised to learn.

  54. Imagine says:

    Border Patrol is allowed to stop and search anyone’s car/personal effects/cell phone, without a warrant, anywhere within 100 miles of an international port (which includes all U.S. population centers with major airports). They play by a different set of rules.

  55. b says:

    According to Haaretz the Israelis first investigated and let him go. Then the FBI came in and only then did the Israeli police follow up and nabbed the guy.
    Now he is depicted as a lone. But the dude was not incompetent or dumb at all. His hiding of his online identity was very extensive and sophisticated. I suspect he had some training in that.
    There is a long tradition of Zionists creating and committing attacks on Jews to play the sorry victim of such attacks and to drive more people into emigration to Israel. (see Baghdad bombings 1950/51)
    One other guy was recently caught in New York who admitted to at least 10 threats of violence against Jewish institutions in the U.S. AIPAC paid the hater Frank Gaffney who produced a video against J-Street. …
    The ADL claimed there had been some 230 threats against Jewish institutions after the Trump’s election. More than half of those have now been proven to have been committed by Jews.
    (Trump had pointed out such a possibility in a talk with Attorney Generals in late February. He was of cause attacked for it. Turns out he was quite right.)

  56. b says:

    Note also that Crowdstrike outright lied in its other report of “Russian hacking” of Ukrainian artillery.
    That “Russian hacking” evidently never took place at all.

  57. Raven says:

    Way to deflect.

  58. RetiredPatriot says:

    Counterinsurgency against whom?

  59. Fred says:

    Obama failed to defend the Republic from the Russians but he could have cleared up all the confusion by declassifying the information too. In addition releasing the tapes of the meeting between AG Lynch and Bill Clinton on the tarmac while Hilary was under investigation would have brought clarity to what was apparently a deal be cut between the two.

  60. Edward Amame says:

    The Dems don’t see Nunes, former member of the Trump transition team, as mentally deranged. They merely see him as a lackey.

  61. Edward Amame says:

    And Trump’s very first legislative move outta the gate was to slap his name on Ryan’s horrible healthcare bill like it was steak, vodka, or a golf course and call it a day. Not sure how that would have helped fix what’s killing middle-aged white Americans. Next up, “tax reform.” I’m sure that’ll do the trick.

  62. Edward Amame says:

    Babak Makkinejad
    I’m a lib and have no truck with Vlad P: he’s killing ISIS in Syria and defending his borders. I kind of thought that’s maybe why right wing populists do too, but now thanks to your linked-to article, maybe it also has to do with this:
    “Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy.”
    and this
    By American standards, Putin’s respect for the democratic process has been fitful at best. He has cracked down on peaceful demonstrations. Political opponents have been arrested and jailed throughout his rule.”
    Fabulous. +sarcasm+

  63. ” Today, for the first time, I was panhandled by a homeless white husband and wife holding hands in the Safeway parking lot.” There are many such instances, even among those who’ve avoided the worst:-
    – Delivery driver. Earning less in real terms than ten years ago. Good worker too. “I could make do on that perfectly well if I had to”. Verbatim quote from an acquaintance in a job yielding more disposable income than the driver gets as full wages. “Left wing”, of course, the acquaintance. Very much so. All the right opinions. These days “progressivism” seems to correlate more and more with a comfortable income. And a certain weary contempt for those unenterprising enough not to have a comfortable income.
    – Airport bus driver. Laid off from a higher paying job. Double shifts to keep up with the mortgage payments, wife working for same purpose. If one sees many such, and we all of us do, the anecdotal evidence starts to build up into a picture. What the figures miss is the anger of those caught in the trap. They also miss the fact that in real life these men don’t get tidied away as easily as in the cosmeticised statistics. They’re not dumb either, as the metropolitan elites assume. The comfortable “them and us” thinking of so many today might keep the bubble happy. It doesn’t keep “them” happy.
    Meanwhile, we see from the news outlets, the palace intrigues become ever more frenetic. Reminds me of ferrets in a sack. None of them seem to be aware that what Trump’s really doing is trying to keep the show on the road. That unawareness of the situation is a puzzle to me. Is this some sort of Swedish thing? “Death wish DC?” America’s big enough to roll over us all so I hope the ferrets quieten down soon. Just let the man get on with it. One can never be sure, of course, but there may be no second chance.

  64. I don’t think that the goal is to get Trump impeached. Rather, the neocons in the media and government are trying to make it politically impossible for Trump to resolve the current issues with Russia. Just the other day, Biden was on TV complaining about Tillerson’s plan to visit Moscow, despite the fact that such things are what the Secretary of State is supposed to do. Given his preference for deal-making, they may be counting on him taking a deal where they stop the pressure in exchange for a more anti-Russia foreign policy.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree, his executive orders on immigration and his denigration of ObamaCare have demonstrated that his “Art of the Deal” fame cannot deal with the realities of politics. He hurt himself and he likely won’t be re-elected; the way he is going.

  66. Eric Newhill says:

    Just to set the record straight – I made some comments about who/what groups in the US would resist a coup and, maybe, start a armed insurrection/civil war when the left completes its shredding of the Constitution/rule of law.
    Nancy K’s brief and confused response included “As Edward mentioned us on the left do not want a coup, it is more those like you, who think war and killing are fun,who want a revolution.”

  67. confusedponderer says:

    “I wouldn’t call it a coup. They will wind up with President Pence, and he would likely prove a more competent enemy than Trump.”
    That won’t be so difficult. I would add disadvising that spontaneous twittering habit. That said, Trump is not exactly proving to be a focused or competent organisator given that he is still trying to fill his cabinet places. That is rather unusual:
    “By February 8, 2017, President Trump had fewer cabinet nominees confirmed than any prior president two weeks into their mandate, except George Washington”
    “President Donald J. Trump is not shy with superlatives but, as he noted Friday, his short time in office has already notched a record most White House occupants would rather not set.
    More than a month in, nearly half of Trump’s Cabinet nominees have yet to be confirmed by the Senate, the longest run for any modern president.
    “It’s just delay, delay, delay – it’s really sad,” Trump told a cheering crowd at a Conservative Political Action Committee”
    Yes, nothing but delay, delay, delay. Really sad.

  68. LeaNder says:

    I noticed. You mentioned that somewhere else. Good point.
    We can start collecting evidence for individual or institution/firms/experts indicating they fit the term ‘cool-aid’ers’, to shift to Pat’s terminology:
    Yes, they indeed added a little “evidence”. After they realized their expertise failed to convince people????

  69. Jack,
    I don’t know for sure. In most cases I think it is a matter of priorities. Getting the desired information in a timely manner is more important than remaining stealthy and not being discovered. The methodology used is more like a smash and grab where the attacker gets into the target systems in the most expeditious way possible (now often broad phishing campaigns) followed by the exfiltration of data as fast and as long as possible before being eventually discovered and booted out of the systems. I’ve seen Chinese hackers do this to the systems of U.S.military installations. They’ed break in and siphon off so much data at a time that the target network would crash. It was like a gang mugging in broad daylight on main street.
    Another factor is Russia’s and China’s use of private hackers and hacking groups to do much of the work for them. Most of these hackers grew up in the age in the age of web page defacement to make a name for themselves. This always involves leaving a calling card and most of these hackers still look for some kind of notoriety even after they graduate from the web page defacements of their earlier exploits. No matter how good they get, they still lack the discipline, anonymity and stealthiness of what I call the old school hackers. Those are few and far between. During the Russian-Georgian war, Russian hackers would hit Georgian and NATO systems and leave deliberate calling cards to brag about exactly who they were. That was part of the message/info op. It was during this timeframe that I personally witnessed direct connections between Russian government officials and private Russian hackers. For obvious reasons, I can’t go into more detail than this. Hope this helps.

  70. Jack,
    In making sense of what is going on, one needs to attempt to set Putin in context. In one of the pre-election articles he produced prior to returning to the presidency in 2012, which was entitled ‘Democracy and the Quality of Government’, he harked back to the arguments of the pre-revolutionary period:
    ‘Russian philosopher and lawyer Pavel Novgorodtsev warned early last century: “Many people think that the proclamation of liberty and universal suffrage will magically direct society onto a new path. But in reality, the outcome of such action is usually not democracy, but oligarchy or anarchy, depending on the turn events take.”’
    (See http://www.russkiymir.ru/en/publications/139691/ .)
    This is a classic statement of Russian ‘liberal-conservatism’ – which, as Paul Robinson has repeatedly stressed, is the political tradition with which Putin identifies himself.
    (See http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/putins-philosophy/ .)
    Actually, this tradition has a strong overlap with ‘republican’ traditions in Europe and the United States. Characteristically, these have seen constitutional government as having institutional, social, and cultural preconditions. Implicit in this analysis, of course, is the question of what one should do, if these preconditions are lacking. And this was the situation that intelligent people in pre-revolutionary Russia confronted.
    Some of the dilemmas that resulted were worked through in one of the classic texts of Russian ‘liberal conservatism’, the symposium ‘entitled ‘Vekhi’ – ‘Landmarks’ or ‘Signposts’ – which appeared in 1909.
    A common theme of the contributors was that the Russian ‘intelligentsia’ had a ‘Jacobin’ mentality which promised disaster: not least because its fanatical hostility to religion meant that it was attacking the foundations of moral restraint in the Russian masses.
    And the authors could also see no good coming out of what Semen Frank called the ‘moralism’ of the ‘intelligenty’ – the central role in their thinking of the ‘moral differentiation of people, actions and circumstances into good and bad, benevolent and malicious.’
    The conclusion to which this led, he noted, was that ‘all that is needed to inaugurate the reign of earthly paradise is to do away with the injustice of the oppressors or the incomprehensible stupidity of the oppressed majority.’
    If you look at the paper which Putin posted at the turn of the millennium, when he had just been named acting president by Yeltsin, it is a classic ‘liberal-conservative’ manifesto. Putting the matter another way, it is the work of a grandchild of the revolution who came to think that its critics were right all along.
    (See http://pages.uoregon.edu/kimball/Putin.htm .)
    This has a number of implications.
    1. The notion that Putin or his associates had any hostility in principle to Western democracy is nonsense. Right through to the 2012 pre-election speech to which I linked, the need for a ‘hybrid system’ in Russia is presented, in true ‘liberal-conservative’ style, as a result of the country’s backwardness. It is only in the past five years that a clear sense that Western democracy has become dysfunctional has emerged among ‘liberal-conservatives’ in Russia.
    2. The situation which Putin inherited when he became President was indeed a mixture of oligarchy and anarchy. One consequence of this is that Putin has, as it were, a ‘light’ side and a ‘shadow’ side. A great deal of Machiavellianism inevitably went into his reconstruction of the Russian state, and there is substance in the view of it as a ‘chekist-oligarch’ system and a ‘kleptocracy’. However, that is only part of a very complex reality.
    3. It is a reality with which Western élites are no more capable of coming to grips than Stalinist officials were with the realities of the ‘imperialist’ West. By a curious reversal, it is they who now display the kind of ‘moralism’ which Frank and his co-authors found so frightening in the Russian ‘intelligenty’. And, for very much the reasons the ‘Vekhi’ writers gave, this has made our élites as incapable as so many pre-1914 Russian liberals of a rational calculation of their own interests.
    As soon as you realise that anarchy really often is the result of doing away with ‘the injustice of the oppressors’ – as in Iraq, Libya and Syria – then it becomes clear that we have much to fear from that anarchy: critically, the growth of jihadism and mass migration. Already, these have had a catastrophic impact on Europe.
    The notion that a ‘régime change’ in Russia is likely to produce an outcome better from the point of view of our interests than the current situation is, frankly, close to batshit crazy. With the Middle East, North Africa, and Ukraine reduced to anarchy, the last thing we want is similar chaos throughout the Eurasian landmass.
    Moreover, it is precisely their settled belief in the ‘incomprehensible stupidity’ of those who disagree with them which has made British and American élites unable to cope with the challenges of Brexit and Trump.
    4. In relation to the hacking issue, in true ‘intelligenty’ style, American and British élites, being convinced that they are ‘benevolent’ and ‘good’, look for an explanation of what has happened to them in terms the machinations of ‘bad’ and ‘malicious’ actors. This is not so much like McCarthyism, as the ‘high noon’ of Stalinism.
    5. It is in the nature of the continuing large elements of oligarchy and anarchy in the Russian state that very often it is genuinely difficult to know what the ‘chain of command’ is. However, the notion that in an operation to prevent the election of a candidate who was an overwhelming favourite at the time, people like Putin and Gerasimov would have subcontracted the job to incompetents does not seem to me very credible.
    6. This is not a run-of-the-mill job, as for instance cyberattacks on the Baltics may be. With matters like those, it is quite possible that they are done on a pure private basis by nationalist hackers. And there may be plenty of people in the Russian security services who are prepared to join in, or at least say ‘boys will be boys’: screw those Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians.
    That is, unfortunately, the kind of situation which might be easier to avert, if we still had a Russia which admired, and wanted to be part of, the West. But that is now gone, for the forseeable future.

  71. Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

  72. Fred,
    I appreciate your tacit agreement that Russians meddled in the election. I agree that more should have been done at the time to bring those activities to light.
    The existence of a tape of the Lynch/Clinton meeting is pure speculation.

  73. crf says:

    From the article: “Now, some Americans might wish that Russia took religion or homosexuality less seriously and still be struck by the fact that these are very local issues. There is something unbalanced about turning them into diplomatic incidents and issuing all kinds of threats because of them.”
    There is the parallel to the US government’s Malaysia policy and Anwar Ibrahim.

  74. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    Even if not, that gives him 4 years to get relations with Russia re-normalized, to hold off the Global Axis of Jihad long enough to allow the R + 6 to exterminate the rebellion comprehensively and finalistically, and to kill TPP and the other Forced Trade Treason Agreements too dead to ever revive.
    If all those three things end up achieved, then I will have come out three for three on the Three Big Reasons I voted against Mommy Wokest by voting for Trump.

  75. different clue says:

    The Twisted Genius,
    Why would the Trump Team try squelching a real investigation into all these things? Could it be a matter of pure pride on their part?
    Are they so proud of their ability to defeat the Deep Coupmakers on their own brainwar battlefield that having a real investigation would be taken as some kind of admission of brainwar-weakness on the part of the Trump Team?

  76. different clue says:

    I always took the screaming about the “evil hackers” to be a long and rolling deflection campaign to divert attention away from the content of the emails themselves. Putting the spotlight on “Putin diddit” was a way to keep the cameras off of the vileness, filth and odiosity oozing from the emails themselves.

  77. different clue says:

    I agree, and I restate my belief that all the Insider and Topsider Democrats would outright prefer that Pence be President instead of Trump. And I believe that the key Democrats AND the key Republicans will co-conspire with the Deep Coupmakers to try and replace Trump with Pence if they feel they can make it a permanent replacement which stands and succeeds.

  78. David Habakkuk – you write “It is only in the past five years that a clear sense that Western democracy has become dysfunctional has emerged among ‘liberal-conservatives’ in Russia.”
    Not just Western democracy – Western society as a whole. Belief systems, economics, the lot. None of it to be emulated. This is now a central theme in Russian or pro-Russian outlets.
    Since it’s also a central theme among Western dissidents – “populist” or “traditionalist or whatever term is used – there’s a danger, I believe, that solutions suitable for Russia might be thought suitable here.
    He’s an extraordinary figure and the Russians are lucky that he turned up when he did. (As are we – you indicate above the turmoil and instability that would result if the Atlanticists gained power and I think it would be even more dangerous if the more extreme Russian nationalists did). His push for a multi-polar and less predatory international order is clearly what we need to be moving to as well, not resisting. Nevertheless his is a fragile and specifically Russian set of solutions. Is there a risk that because he seems to be competent and seems to be getting somewhere we might look to take his prescriptions off the shelf instead of evolving our own?

  79. Tyler says:

    The situation at the border resembles a low scale CI war with Mexico.

  80. Tyler says:

    Not quite. They can stop anyone for suspected immigration violations and ask questions. They need RS to detain, and still need PC to begin a search. And its within 100 miles of any border.

  81. different clue,
    We really won’t know the Trump Team motivations until this whole thing is out in the open. In the meantime, I’ll give you the same guess I gave Jack.
    “Perhaps POTUS does not want that information seeing the light of day. It could be damaging or embarrassing to POTUS or someone close to him. It’s also possible he is concerned about exposing IC sources and methods, but I think it’s uncharacteristic for him to care about anyone other than himself.”

  82. MRW says:

    Google it.

  83. EO,
    I very much agree with that. It is commonly disastrous to take prescriptions that may work in one situation and apply them to another.
    What one needs to do is to try to understand both sets of situations – which is what our élites, on both sides of the Atlantic, have not been doing. If one does this, an understanding of the one can cast light on the other.
    Both what you say now, and also your earlier question about how to explain the censorship processes at the BBC, TTG, bring up a lot of complicated issues.
    Arguments about possible GCHQ involvement in the anti-Trump campaign have taken up all the time I have for blogging.
    But there will be plenty of occasion to revert to these matters, I think.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I wish Trump well, he and Sanders were the only politicians in the Western Fortress who were willing to openly discuss internal problems – in this case, those of the United States.

  85. Babak Makkinejad says:

    This “fanatical hostility to religion…” imbues the minds of many Iranian critics of the Islamic Republic. And like their Russian counterparts, they are also completely oblivious to the destruction of the foundations of moral restraint among Iranian masses that the success of their program would bring about.
    Furthermore, this fear of the erosion of the the foundations of moral restraint among Muslim masses also informs the minds of ayatollahs in Qum and elsewhere. For example, many of them know that there is no unimpeachable proof of the existence of God and yet they teach those proofs and expound the Religious of Sciences of Islam out of a sense of duty; “Lest Darkness Fall”.
    In my opinion, it is this fear that accounts for much of their conservatism; which is shared also by Orthodox Judaism; permit the showing of a bit of hair and next that woman will have become a harlot in the blink of an eye.
    In regards to Stalinism; it had its positive content in that it aimed to modernize and industrialize Russia and USSR. Without the Stalinist program of forced collectivization and rapid industrialization, which, by the way, were very popular among the Urban areas of Russia, NAZI Germany would have been with us today; be-straddling Europe – enthusiastically supported by the Children of the Enlightenment Tradition – in my opinion.
    Stalin was a very prescient man; “Was he ever wrong?” – I wonder.
    His promotion of Lysenko and suppression of Mendelian Genetics, it may yet come to pass, would be viewed as a last ditch effort to prevent the horrors that CRISPR and associated techniques are about to unleash on Mankind.

  86. Fred says:

    You write like a lawyer who knows what the meaning of is, is. A tape of the actual meeting between the US attorney general and the spouse of someone under investigation is speculation, the meeting is not. The other important question: How many voters decided, due to Russian “meddling”, to vote for Hilary? Do they account for all of or just most of her popular vote margin?

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